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Canada's Economy Grows At Fastest Rate in Two Years

OTTAWA—  Canada's economy and exports accelerated in the second quarter (Q2) of 2014 at a faster rate than they have in the past two years, according to the latest Statscan data.

Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) took Bay Street folk by surprise as it rose at an annual rate of 3.1 percent, higher than the 2.5-percent increase rate that experts predicted. Household spending and exports, which experts say are two of  the pillars of a healthy economic recovery, led the GDP increase.

The first quarter of 2014 had posted a sluggish annual rate of 1.2 percent, reflecting a difficult winter and slow trade. But Canada's economy got a lift from demand in the U.S. during Q2.

By the numbers

Exports

  • 4.2 -percent jump in exports from Q1 - the largest increase since the third quarter of 2011;
  • 4.4-percent jump in exports of goods, led  by consumer light vehicles with a 13-percent increase, farm and fishing products with a 13.9-percent increase, and forestry, building and packaging materials with an 8.7-percent increase;
  • $2.6 billion in trade surplus, up from $1.8 billion in June (trade surplus means more was exported than imported);
  • 34.4 billion of exports to the U.S. in July, up 1.9 percent;
  • 10.2 percent more goods were hauled between the U.S., Canada and Mexico in June 2014 compared to June 2013;
  • 53.7 percent of the $57.9 billion of freight to and from Canada was carried by trucks in June.

Imports

  • 2.7-percent increase in imports, the largest increase since the second quarter of 2010;
  • $29.2 billion in imports from the U.S., an increase of 1.2 percent;
  • one-percent increase in wholesale trade in June, led by gains in wholesale of building materials, machinery, equipment, and supplies;
  • 0.9-percent increase in construction, transportation and warehousing services, led by gains in rail and truck transportation;
  • 0.3 -percent drop in manufacturing output. 
 
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